Tuesday 29 April 2008

Naughty, naughty, NAUGHTY Bloom!

Having recently bought a new home, we are on a strict household budget. But what's a girl to do when these people send me 'loyalty' discounts and these people have such outrageously generous sales? What else:New fabrics, washed, pressed & ready for action. What is your vice? Fabric collecting is certainly mine - well, one of mine anyway!

Saturday 26 April 2008

Dear Baby Jane blocks

Having a lovely, but challenging, time making up my Dear Baby Jane Blocks. Here are my latest:
B2 Sweet Tater Pie - Pinwheel blocks & I just don't seem to have a very good relationship. I'm darned if I can get them to meet perfectly in the middle! Think it is something about the way I press them. This one will have to do.
B12 Starflower - I'm very much enjoying these reverse appliqué blocks. They come together nicely. I used this method by fissiett.
B6 Wild Goose Chase - otherwise known as 'The Absolute Stinker' block or perhaps the 'So You Think You're Clever?' block! This one was tough. Anina said this is the 'advanced' block in Row B - yep! Armed with spray starch, Anina's method, and Wendy's method, I got there eventually. My daughter suggested I could make another in a different colour - she received a resounding "Not on your nellie"!
B5 Hot Cross Buns - a little more reverse applique. The sharp points on this block were a little tricky. Not convinced this one won't fray as the points are quite fragile.
Hello to the many women who are doing these Dear Baby Jane blocks & thank you for your lovely comments. I am up to date again thanks to your encouragement. Wonder if Anina has another 'stinker' block in store for us this week?!

Friday 25 April 2008

ANZAC spirit

It is ANZAC day in Australia - a day to remember all service men & women who have given their lives in war to protect the freedom of our country. We are in great debt to their bravery. Last September, I had the privilege of accompanying a Year 5/6 group of children on a school excursion to Canberra, Australia's capital city. We visited the Australian War Memorial and saw the Roll of Honour which lists every Australian who has died in war since 1885. Visitors are able to place red paper poppies beside the names of soldiers who have special significance to them. This Roll of Honour speaks powerfully of the magnitude of Australian lives lost in war - a list of more than 102,000 names. Lest We Forget.

Thursday 24 April 2008

Keeping little girls happy

My Mum has finished the requested 'rainbow quilt' for granddaughter #4 (my niece).It is a 'raw edge' or 'shaggy' quilt which has wonderful texture & cuddliness! And we found the perfect striped bind for it. All that remains to be done on this quilt is the label on the back - which Little Miss Granddaughter has specified needs to be in the shape of a star!!

Monday 21 April 2008

Spring is near?

You may remember Pipany won my 100th post giveaway a while ago? I thought you might like to see what I sent her: I made up this little bag by Australian designer Lenna Green of The Stitching Cow. It is called 'Spring is Near' and was published in Australian Homespun No 51 (Vol 8 No 8).I really enjoyed making this project & it was very excitedly received by Pipany in the UK!

Thursday 17 April 2008

Flowers for Georgina

Today's post is written with a sad heart. It is one year today since a dear little girl, Georgina, in my 9 year old son's class fell suddenly and inexplicably ill. She was rushed to intensive care & remained there for many months, suffering almost constant seizures & fighting for her life. Georgina is now in palliative care. The past 12 months have been awful for her family, as you can imagine. However, their unwavering Christian faith has sustained them & they have shown incredible strength & resiliance, never giving up hope for a full recovery for Georgie. They are an amazing encouragement to all who know them. When first hearing of Georgie's illness this time last year, many of us went into considerable shock, quickly followed by an urgent sense of wanting to help in any way possible. The way I chose was, of course, to stitch something! I visited Georgie's class & asked each of the children to draw a 'flower for Georgina' on a 5-inch square of homespun. Every girl & boy in that class carefully, thoughtfully & beautifully drew their own special flower for their friend. I stitched the squares together with charm packs of 3 Sisters 'Sanctuary' fabrics.I appliqued a flower block & embroidered a message around it from the class. It was an enormous privilege to be able to spend time talking & drawing with Georgie's class mates and to send this quilt to Georgina for them. I remain deeply affected by Georgina's condition & her family's situation 12 long months after she was first admitted to hospital. And I continue to long & pray for a miracle of healing for her. If you are in the habit of praying, please pray for the recovery of this precious little girl & for strength for her wonderful family. The complete history of Georgina's condition can be found here.

Monday 14 April 2008

Feasting on colour

The outlaws are visiting so we were out and about town with them today. We went to an expo of fibre art suppliers - what a visual feast!
A riot of coloured yarn,textures, just asking to be touched!
A fabulously funky felted cap ...
... which was a favourite with my nine-year-old son, and a perfect fit!
And beautifully rustic antique hat lasts for sale.
Lunch in the park & then more sensory overload in a greenhouse of stunning tuberous begonias. Just beautiful!
Hoping your week is filled with colour, beauty & peace. Best wishes, Bloom.

Sunday 13 April 2008

Belly Dancing Dear Jane?

Special guests at the local Farmers' Market yesterday was this very brave troupe of belly dancers. They were fantastic, with bright costumes swirling & all sorts of things jingling! A major distraction I'm sure for the farmers trying to sell their produce! Oooh, I only wish my belly looked as good as this! Am I thinking of taking up belly dancing? Certainly not - there is just not enough time now that I have joined the Dear Baby Jane group! This my 12th block:It is C3 Rayelle's Fence. I think I may rename it 'The Deceiver'! It looks innocent & simple but is a bit of a cow to get square & straight with such small pieces. I am now caught up with the group & these are my 12 completed blocks. I am enjoying these little blocks immensely & if any of you are remotely tempted to join the group, give it a go! It is great fun. Anina's instructions are so clear, detailed & excellent that you can hardly go wrong. For those not tempted by Baby Jane, perhaps belly dancing?

Thursday 10 April 2008

Dear Baby Jane catch up

A busy last week of school for the kids here, with projects due, camps to go to, athletics carnival to compete in etc etc. Bring on the holidays! I have been determined amongst the busyness of this week to find a little bit of time to catch up with my Dear Jane blocks:
B3 Mirror Image - yikes, curved piecing. I had never tried this before. I was surprised how easily this came together. This opens up a whole new world of quilt pattern possibilities as I have always steered clear of curved piecing in the past - that's all I need, another distraction!
K7 Rose of Sharing - I have been wanting to use these fabrics for ages.
M10 Simple Simon - and indeed he was!
D3 Jason's Jacks - hmmm, slowly getting better at needleturn applique.
A7 Dad's Plaids - did this one twice. Had trouble getting all the little petals the same size & the distance from the centre join - conquered it in the end!
B1 Bachelor Buttons - more reverse applique. Another first for me. I am really enjoying learning new techniques without wasting too much fabric if I muck it up! So there we go - all caught up with the group ... until tomorrow!

Wednesday 9 April 2008

In another life ...

We are gradually getting pictures up in the new house. I was pleased to find these again amongst the boxes:I stitched these many moons ago, before children, when I could concentrate for more than 5 minutes at a time without interruption! They are tiny samplers, with cross stitch, drawn thread work & all sorts of interesting stitches. I remember enjoying doing these immensely. No more cross stitch for me these days!

Sunday 6 April 2008

Wait for me, wait for meeee!

Playing catch up with my Dear Jane blocks, having signed up when the group was 8 blocks ahead. Here are the latest ones:
D13 - Field of dreams, a nice easy one A6 - Uncle Homer, even easier
B4 - Chris' Soccer Field. I was a bit scared of this one, having foundation-pieced only once and a long time ago, but I was very encouraged with how well this came together. Instead of using paper as the foundation, I traced the outline onto very lightweight, non-woven interfacing. This avoids pulling the foundation away later.
A7 - Dad's Plaids is causing me some angst, but I will conquer it yet!

Thursday 3 April 2008

Happy day

A precious day out with my Mum today. Visited one of the loveliest quilting shops in Australia, found the perfect bind for my niece's wild & bright quilt, enjoyed some very good coffee & was given a copy of 'Dear Jane' by Mum. In stark contrast to poor Chookyblue's day! Thinking of you Donna.

Wednesday 2 April 2008

What lunacy is this?

Anina of Twiddletails has generously offered to guide us through the making of a Dear Baby Jane quilt & has set up a blog especially to plot the progress of those brave (or crazy!) enough to join her in making this magnificent quilt. The original Dear Jane quilt was stitched by Jane A. Stickle in the United States in 1863:So, in a momentary lapse of reason, I have decided to join up! Pick yourself up of the floor - yes, I can see you falling about laughing hysterically at this point! Just humour me a little! The aim is to complete two blocks each week, which sounds quite reasonable until you realise they are but 5 inches square. Yikes - must brush up on some foundation piecing! Anina is being kind, and starting off with some simple blocks. Here are my first two:
B13 Four Corner Press
C9 Jane's Tears

Bright, bright, bright ...

My mum is is visiting for a few days & has brightened up the house in more ways than one! She is working on a shaggy quilt for one of my nieces. The request was for "a rainbow quilt please Grandma"! Notice Mum conveniently disappeared for the photo?
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